As the semester kicks off, NIU police are asking Huskies to form safe habits as they reacclimate to campus life.
“It takes a community to police the community, not just the police,” said Deputy Chief Jason John. “And our officers are part of that community.”
The Department of Police and Public Safety has partnered with DeKalb law enforcement to patrol both on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods. If you notice officers checking over parking lots and building lobbies, NIU police want you to view that as a good thing.
“You’ll see us driving around, and you can always flag our officers down, even just to talk,” said John. “We’re here to engage our students and interact with them in positive ways.”
John asks Huskies to be proactive about safety, and to say something if they see something—whether it’s a rowdy party or a person walking alone who appears under the influence of alcohol or drugs. And try to stay aware of what and who is around you so if you do need to communicate with police, you will have helpful details.
Need someone to walk you to your car or building late in the evening? Huskie Safe Patrol, staffed by trusted and trained students, is available overnight every day from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. for all members of the campus community.
Students, faculty and staff needing late transportation also can use the free Huskie Safe Line, running north and south of campus from 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. The line recently added stops both around and off campus, to outside neighborhoods and stores.
Deputy Chief John encourages students to stay aware of their surroundings, “stick with the pack” walking at night and avoid leaving extra personal belongings stored within view in vehicles.
“We’re going to be focused on proactive policing and eliminating those crimes of opportunity,” he said. “But people will feel more comfortable if the community is actively engaged in safe behaviors looking out for each other.”